Is Michigan Getting Ready to Oust the Robin as the State Bird?
For nearly a century, the American Robin has been Michigan's state bird but that could soon change thanks to a group of Michigan legislators in Lansing.
Why the Change?
Although the Robin has been the official state bird of the Mitten State since 1931, legislators think it's time to honor the Kirtland's warbler, a bird that is found almost exclusively in Michigan. The Kirtland's warbler has recovered from almost certain extinction since being placed on the US Fish & Wildlife Service's Endangered Species list in 1967.
State Rep. Greg Markkanen is behind the House bill that would name the Kirtland's warbler the official state bird of Michigan.
“Fifty years coming back from near extinction, it’s an incredible story and I think this is really to honor the efforts of the biologists at the federal and state level and all of the private citizens that have contributed to help bring this bird back,” Markkanen said.
Some Are Opposed to the Move
Markkanen tells Grand Rapids TV Station WOOD-TV that there is some opposition to the move. He says he doesn't dislike Robins but points out that they are significantly more common than the Kirtland's warbler. He says that Robins are common throughout the United States and notes that they are the state birds Wisconsin and Connecticut.
Bill's Next Step
Markkanen's bill has moved into committee and he hopes to have it considered by the House and Senate soon. The bill has support from both Michigan Republicans and Democrats.